Sit down, this is a good one:
One of my lady friends – let’s call her C – was recently having an issue with a close friend of hers, let’s call him D. C and D had been best buds for some time. They were part of a larger group of friends who did all sorts of fun, barkada-type things together. Then one night, alone in D’s house, they happened to share an unexpected kiss. Or seven.
Now C is stressed because they have over-stepped boundaries. Or at least, she feels that they have. She pings me and asks for advice, and I sagely tell her to “have sex with D and see if there’s anything there.” She says it would be weird, because they’ve been friends for so long.
This was about a week ago. Fast forward to today, and I’m sick and alone at home watching The Big Bang Theory. Specifically the final episode of the first season, wherein they quaintly use Schrodinger’s Cat as an analogy for a situation that was pretty similar to C and D’s. At least, similar enough that I felt compelled to write about it.
In case you’ve forgotten:
Schrodinger’s Cat is a thought experiment meant to illustrate the counter-intuitiveness of quantum mechanics. In the experiment, we place a cat inside a box along with a vial of poison. The vial of poison is set to open at an undefined point in the future. The poison will obviously kill the cat if this happens. We close the box, and are unable to determine by external means whether the cat is alive or dead.
Now, under the rules set by quantum mechanics, for as long as that box is sealed, that cat is both alive and dead. Why? Because we are unable to observe for ourselves which state the cat is in. However, this is counter-intuitive (and quite frankly, makes little sense) because the cat cannot, in reality, be both alive and dead. It is one or the other.
How does this relate to the story of C and D? It’s simple, really. At this point in time, their relationship is both platonic and romantic. They maintain that they are friends and yet that kiss (or series of kisses, I should say) have incontrovertibly changed things. But a relationship cannot be both platonic and romantic, in the same way as Schrodinger’s Cat cannot be both dead and alive. It doesn’t make sense in the thought experiment, and it doesn’t make sense in real life either.
So how do we know which one it is? Why, by opening the box, of course :)